Welcome to Getting Some Play — the spiritual successor to Sarah Warn’s excellent Good Game column — where we’ll take a look at the latest releases, news and developments in the world of video games.
Welcome to 2012
Welcome, gaymers, to the brand new year. 2011 gave us quite a bit to celebrate (see our last column for a wrap-up of the year in LGBT gaming), and 2012 looks to continue the trend (at least, in small but encouraging ways). Here are a few of our most anticipated games slated to arrive in the New Year.
Mass Effect 3
If you’re familiar at all with the column, you’ll know that we’re pretty big Bioware fans around here. It’s for good reason – the developer’s modern RPG’s blend action, RPG mechanics and deep, well-presented writing, particularly in terms of character development. They also happen to be far and away the most LGBT inclusive big-budget games in the industry, with same-sex romances available in most of its titles.
Mass Effect 3 promises to close out the epic space opera trilogy, with one very welcome addition to the series: full same-sex romance options for players of either gender (previously, ME had female pairings, but no options for male characters). The future is bright, exciting, and so totally gay.
In the ’90s, the world was obsessed with Lara Croft. She starred in critically acclaimed games, graced the covers of magazines and was portrayed in two feature films by a buffed-up Angelina Jolie. Then the games started to get stale, and the world forgot about their Croft Addiction. The new Tomb Raider reboot seeks to correct this, promising gameplay that is raw, dynamic, and true to the series roots. The new hero is a tougher, more realistic take on our favorite lady badass, and we cannot help but feel this game will do for Croft what Casino Royale did for one Mr. Bond – make an aging franchise fresh, relevant and incredibly entertaining all over again.
With Irrational Studios at the helm (makers of the original, brilliant BioShock), and a host of new gameplay ideas, we absolutely cannot wait to get our hands on this one. Taking place in a sort of turn of the century floating city (as opposed to a cold war era underwater metropolis), Infinite is set to bring the series signature philosophical weight and brilliant approach to storytelling right along with its addictive “adaptable” shooter mechanics.
We’re also excited about many of the “smaller,” but no less influential titles hitting the downloadable spaces in the next twelve months. Sound Shapes, Fez and Retro City Rampage are all high on our “indie anticipation” lists, while Black Knight Sword, Quantum Conundrum and Journey are all promising-looking games from established studios and creators.
Also hotly anticipated – and very recently announced, is Fireaxis’ take on the beloved XCOM series, in an upcoming title called XCOM: Enemy Unknown. There’s another XCOM game in the works – an FPS title from the good folks at 2K Marin (Bioshock 2), but this newly announced game promises to stay truer to the series pure strategy roots. Fans will be awaiting this puppy with bated breath.
We’re still in the post-holiday lull zone, so keep warm with thoughts of those upcoming games from up top. Until then, there’s Crush 3D (3DS) and Gotham City Imposters (Multi), which we discussed in the last column, as well as ScaryGirl, a gorgeous-looking adventure title that hits the 360 on the 18th and the PS3 on the 24th.